While I have some issues with iTunes Match – notably the fact that it doesn’t match very well – I was ripping some CDs today, and realized that there is one feature that could be very useful.
I got a 39-disc set of Opera Baroque, from Harmonia Mundi, and had to spend a long time ripping the CDs. Wouldn’t it be great if you could insert a CD on your computer, have iTunes match it, then have it added to your library without needing to rip the discs? While you’d have to download the music, it’s still less labor-intensive than ripping CDs, at least for multi-disc sets.
I can see the reason why this wouldn’t work – it’s too easy for a friend to bring their CD collection to your home, and for you to insert one CD after another, matching them, then downloading the tracks. But since you could also just rip that friend’s CDs, it’s not that much of a difference, other than the time saved.
You may ask why I am buying box sets of music on CD rather than from the iTunes Store or Amazon? It turns out – paradoxically – that most classical box sets are much cheaper than they are by download. This set costs £57 from Amazon UK; it’s not available from Amazon US, nor is it available by download. Even when classical sets are available by download, they are often cheaper on CD. Go figure.